A Gentleman Strikes in Broad Daylight

Published Jul 18, 2023
Content Rating Teen and Up
Content Warning
Word Count 2,665

Fandom Genshin Impact
Category F/M
Childe, Lumine

Read on AO3


Written for Chilumi Week 2023, Day 2: Masquerade / Espionage - in the very loosest sense of the words


Get in, filch the supplies from the Fatui, and get out. That’s all she needs to do. Lumine has done this commission a thousand times before. Surely, nothing will go wrong, right? Surely, a certain Fatui Harbinger won’t get in her way and compromise her mission, right?

The mask doesn’t sit quite right on her face. Lumine adjusts it, pushing it further up the bridge of her nose. She squints through them, her peripherals obscured by the Fatui mask. She can’t imagine fighting with this on, which means her stealth mission should be, well, stealthy.

Get in, filch the supplies, get out.

Seems easy enough, right?

She shrugs the Fatui coat over her shoulders, long stolen from a poor sleeping agent. It’s a tad longer than she had expected—the hem brushing past her knees—but the coat hides her white dress better this way.

“Why can’t Paimon come with you again?” Paimon says, pouting and crossing her arms.

“Because this is a stealth mission,” Lumine replies. “A floating pixie like you will instantly give me away.”

“Fine, fine,” Paimon says. “But if you don’t come back quick, I’m rushing in to save you!”

“Don’t worry about me. I can take care of myself,” she says, giving Paimon a reassuring squeeze on her tiny arm. “Besides, it’s not like it’s our first time getting this type of commission.”

Paimon nods.

“Stay here,” Lumine says. “Be back in less than an hour.”

Paimon teleports to her void, leaving behind a trail of stardust.

Lumine turns and walks in the direction of the distant campfire, hugging the Fatui coat close around her. The warm light of the sun streaks across the deep violet sky, a trademark of Seirai Island. She scouts the area ahead: a long-abandoned shipwreck lodged within a cliff face, and in front of it, a couple of tents embroidered with the four-eyed Fatui sigil. A growing bonfire illuminates the beach, with some Fatui agents carrying more kindling and throwing it into the fire. Ocean waves lap at the shore near them, gradually higher and higher until the sun would eventually set.

There seems to be a gathering of some sort, Lumine observes. Typically, there would only be two or three skirmishers designated in this area, but today, there’s five, no, seven, of them loitering around.

She clenches her jaw. This is going to be harder than she thought.

Lumine approaches the campsite, close enough to find her points of entry and exits, but far enough that they can’t see her. The target package, marked with the Resistance symbol, sits behind a tent, near a couple of crates. She spots an entry point behind two trees, concealing her whilst offering a straightforward path to the supplies. As for the exit, she has two options: she can simply leave from where she entered, or continue forward and climb up the small cliff behind the tent, using the sakura trees as camouflage. Not exactly the best options, and the latter would serve as her last resort, if need be. And hopefully, it won’t be.

Now, it is time to execute the plan. With a final nudge of her mask, Lumine strolls toward the tent, lingering on the side of the cliff so as not to draw attention.

Act like you belong, she tells herself. Stop fussing with your mask too much.

As she gets closer, the Fatui agents’ chatter gets noisier. Come to think of it, they seem to be a bit more boisterous than usual. She has not heard or seen Fatui agents this lively at all.

“Hey, I brought the tricolor dango like you asked!” one of them yells over the din, and they cheer.

“Is there shrimp in this dish? You know I’m allergic to shellfish,” another agent says.

“Aww, this rice ball is shaped like a cat!”

She did not know Fatui agents can be this lively, if at all.

Lumine hides behind the tent, letting its shadow from the bonfire obscure her. A few feet ahead of her, the package sits on top of a crate; it’s a small round thing wrapped in a cloth with the Resistance symbol’s patch sewn on it. There’s a piece of paper attached to the package, but she can’t read it from this far.

Get in, filch the supplies, get out. That’s all she needs to do.

She makes a beeline for it when she hears it.

“Gather ‘round, everyone! I brought you all something from Snezhnaya.”

That voice. Lumine would know it anywhere.

Curiosity piqued, she steps out of the shadows and peeks from the edge of the tent. It’s him. Her heart pounds. It’s him. Tartaglia. Childe. The Eleventh Fatui Harbinger. He’s standing with his back to her, but even without his face, she knows it’s him from his height, his wild rust-colored hair, and that red scarf around his neck. It’s him. The sight of him knocks the wind out of her. She stands there, rooted in place, watching the scene unfold before her.

The Fatui agents crowd around him as he gives something away to each of them. One of the Fatui skirmishers, a tall man with an enchanted Geo staff, stands beside him and says, “Thank you so much, sir. I haven’t heard from my family since I was stationed here.”

He turns to him and claps him on the back. “Just doing my job, Andrei.”

She steps back behind the tent. What is he doing here? I thought he’d left, she thinks. The last time she’d seen him was not too long ago, when he’d made friends with Yoimiya. He said he was leaving right after, so why is he still here? Not that she minded seeing him again, but this mission just got a lot more complicated than it should have been. Damn it.

Lumine glances back at the package. It’s still there, untouched. She should get it now, while they’re all distracted. Before she can hesitate, she goes back behind the tent and hurriedly grabs the bag of supplies.

Too easy, she thinks, and she immediately regrets the thought when she hears Childe’s voice behind her: “Hey, comrade. Whatcha got there?”

Damn this mask and its shitty peripherals.

Lumine turns around and smiles, holding the bag tightly between her fingers. “Heeeeyyyy,” she says, dragging the word out as casually as she can, quickly considering her options. Her best exit is blocked, and she doubts she can climb the small cliff faster than Childe can shoot an arrow. He might even climb after her instead, and the last thing she needs is a Harbinger on her tail.


There’s still another option: bluffing her way out of this. Though that atrocious ‘hey’ does not help her case. Regardless, she holds up the bag, determined. “I just stole this package from the Resistance, sir! Thought it might be a good addition to this party we’re having.”

His lips twists into a smile. “Uh-huh.”

He steps closer and Lumine turns away, avoiding his scrutinizing gaze. In the shadow of the tent, cast under the slowly fading sun, there’s barely anything to see and maybe, just maybe, if she looks away, he won’t see. Please don’t let him see.

“Can you perhaps read that note there attached to that bag?” he says, pointing to it. “Might be something important.”

She yanks the paper off its tape and holds it up to her face. Her stomach drops.

The note reads, in all-capital letters: “Hey, Girlie”.

So much for bluffing, then.

Slowly, she puts down the note, revealing the Harbinger now standing before her. Heat rises to her cheeks.

“What—what is this?” she asks.

He grins. “Why don’t you open it and see?”

“I’m not opening it. Besides, you stole this from the Resistance!” she says, jabbing a finger towards the crudely sewn patch. Only now does she notice how clumsy the needlework actually is, as if it were a hasty addition. This is not from the Resistance.

Damn this mask. How can anybody see with this mask on?

Childe tilts his head in amusement. “The mask giving you trouble? I gotta say, it looks good on you. And that coat? You’d make for a good-looking Harbinger, Lumine.”

“Don’t patronize me,” she says. “You planned this. You probably already saw me from a mile away.”

He shrugs. “And? That doesn’t mean what I said isn’t true.”

“Stop trying to recruit me!”

He chuckles. “I’m kidding, girlie. What’s a little harmless fun between comrades?”

“It’s not funny,” she says, silently thankful to the dimming sunlight for concealing her flushed cheeks.

“And I was serious when I said that mask looks good on you,” he says in a low voice, and dear archons, when did he get so close?

Lumine fidgets with her mask, her eyes not meeting his gaze. His fingers extend toward hers, attempting to lift it away. She hesitates, gripping the edges of the mask tightly in place.

“Let me,” he murmurs, and the unbidden tenderness in his voice sends shivers down her spine. She surrenders, letting him gently pull the mask away. As her field of vision expands, she drinks in his presence, finally seeing his face up close, and her traitorous heart skips a beat.

“I like it better without,” he says. “As I’m sure you do, too.”

Damn it. Damn him.

“I have to go,” she says, breathless. The words take Childe by surprise and Lumine takes the opportunity to push past him and run off before he could do something incredibly stupid.

The wind brushes her flushed cheeks, the Fatui coat billowing behind her as she flees, running until she finds respite at an abandoned campsite near the shoreline.

“Hey, Paimon,” she whispers, hoping the fairy would hear from her pocket dimension, “the commission is done but I still have something to take care of, okay?”

Paimon’s voice does not echo a reply. She may be sleeping already.

Lumine plops herself down on the sandy beach and unraveled the cloth-wrapped package. Inside is a small basket brimming with different items: a pair of leather gloves, a fur-lined hat, a blue knit scarf, a handmade beaded bracelet. Underneath it all: another note, written in his handwriting, one she has come to know all too well. Some parts of it are crossed out, leaving patches of inked squares, the marks of hesitation and second thoughts.


Here’s some stuff I brought from home. I know it won’t be a while till you visit Snezhnaya, but it doesn’t hurt to give you a head start on some weather-appropriate items, right?

Also, Teucer made that bracelet. Well, Tonia made it, but it was Teucer’s idea. He misses you a lot. ██████ His big brother misses you a lot, too.

Take care. ██████████


████ Tartaglia

Lumine rests her head in her hands, her heartbeat reverberating in her ears. Did he really have to do all this… this elaborate scheme just to deliver these items? Under the guise of an Adventurer’s Guild commission, too, no less! Is a Harbinger even allowed to make commission requests like that? How could Katheryne even accept his request? And how could he have known that she, of all the registered Adventurers, would take on this specific commission?

She ruffles her hair in frustration and indignation.

Yet, despite it all, Lumine can’t deny the thrill she felt sneaking through the campsite, the adrenaline upon getting caught by him. It’s a meticulous plan, one that actually worked and even caught her off guard. She should have known better, really, than to traipse right into a trap like that, but if it’s him waiting for her at the end, then perhaps… perhaps, it’s not all that bad.

She brings the blue scarf to her face, nuzzling the soft fabric. It’s a little worn to the touch, loose threads creating a rough contrast to the woven wool. A fresh, soapy scent lingers in between the threads, reminding her of someone else she knows. It’s… comforting.

Adorned with blue and gold plastic beads, the bracelet catches Lumine’s eye next. In the center, each bead bears an engraved letter, spelling out her name in blue letters on white. She slides it onto her wrist, and it settles there perfectly, the fit flawless. Just how…?

Before she can speculate, she hears soft footsteps on the sandy shore, and immediately she folds the scarf around her wrist, concealing the bracelet. It is Childe once again, returning with her mask.

“You forgot your mask,” he says, handing it to her.

Lumine takes it with her free hand and shoves it into the basket.

“You know, you could’ve just handed me these gifts, like a normal person,” she says.

“But I’m not a normal person—”

“But you’re not a normal person, I know, I know. What was that party all about, anyways? Was it someone’s birthday?”

“No,” Childe says. He gestures to the space beside her. “May I?”

Lumine scoots over and pats the sand, nodding. He sits down, propping one knee up and leaning on it with his elbow.

“Signora was assigned here,” he starts in a soft voice, “These agents reported to her, and then she was gone, and…” He sighs, a twinge of frustration in the exhale. “They’re just people too, you know? People with families and loved ones. It’s not easy to be apart from the people you care about,” he says, and Lumine feels too aware of his gaze on her. Her heart betrays her with another erratic skip.

“And I thought,” he continues, “why not bring them something from home? Something to remind them of why they’re far away, who they’re fighting for.”

From their isolated tent, they can see the bonfire growing in the distance, the merry laughter of the Fatui carried by the cool night wind.

“These soldiers… some of them don’t truly believe in the Tsaritsa’s cause, not like I do, and it’s easy to lose sight of that. Bringing them letters, gifts from their family… it’s the closest they can get to home.”

Lumine’s eyes lock onto his wrist, where an identical bracelet gleams in the moonlight. The beads on his bracelet spell out a name she’s unfamiliar with—‘Ajax’. Her breath catches—though she doesn’t know what ‘Ajax’ means exactly—but it’s as if she’d glimpsed upon something she shouldn’t have. Something meant to remain private, even from her.

“I read the letter,” Lumine says, clearing her throat. She lays her hand atop his, exposing the bracelet adorning her wrist. Childe’s eyes catch sight of it, and a soft chuckle escapes his lips, unable to contain his delight. To her surprise, he turns over his hand and intertwines their fingers together. Warmth blossoms from his touch, flowing from his fingertips to hers, enveloping her body.

“Little Teucer really wants to see you again,” he says, turning to her.

She smiles. “And what about his big brother?”

His fingertips glide against her jaw, and she can’t help but draw closer, her chin cradled in his hand. “He’s been dying to see you.”

Lumine exhales. In their proximity, she studies his face: every freckle peppered across his nose and cheekbones, the dimples on his cheeks gracing his smile—and oh, how he loved to smile—and the deep blue of his irises, his pupils dilated, as if drinking her in, his eyelashes fluttering, his eyelids closing, a wistful sigh, and then, his lips are on hers.

His hands snake around to the back of her neck, pulling her close, as if their kiss could never be deep enough. She grasps at his hair, her lips matching the desperate press of his mouth. Damn him, but damn herself, too, because despite everything, she’s still kissing him like she used to in the streets of Liyue, weightless and giddy.

When Childe pulls away, a soft smile on his lips, Lumine does not feel an ounce of regret.

“I missed you a lot, too,” she murmurs.

The smile on his face widens, brimming with infectious joy. The moonlight reflects upon the ocean, illuminating his face with a soft, cool glow. She settles on his lips again, the complete absence of regret giving way for something more, something she doesn’t want to put a name to—not yet—but she embraces it anyway.

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